Mercury: Aligning EU legislation with Minamata

24-05-2017

The United Nations' Minamata Convention on mercury was agreed in 2013 with a view to protecting human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. Although mercury use has declined significantly in recent decades, mercury released into the air, water and land remains a serious threat to human health and the environment. EU policy banned exports of mercury, provided for the storage of mercury waste, restricted the use of mercury in various products and sought to address pollution caused by it. However, there were some regulatory gaps between EU legislation and the Minamata Convention. In February 2016, the European Commission submitted a legislative proposal aiming to align this legislation with the Convention in view of its ratification. After completion of the legislative procedure at first reading in the European Parliament and the Council, the presidents of the co-legislators signed the final act on 17 May 2017. The regulation will apply from 1 January 2018.

The United Nations' Minamata Convention on mercury was agreed in 2013 with a view to protecting human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. Although mercury use has declined significantly in recent decades, mercury released into the air, water and land remains a serious threat to human health and the environment. EU policy banned exports of mercury, provided for the storage of mercury waste, restricted the use of mercury in various products and sought to address pollution caused by it. However, there were some regulatory gaps between EU legislation and the Minamata Convention. In February 2016, the European Commission submitted a legislative proposal aiming to align this legislation with the Convention in view of its ratification. After completion of the legislative procedure at first reading in the European Parliament and the Council, the presidents of the co-legislators signed the final act on 17 May 2017. The regulation will apply from 1 January 2018.